Denver Radio KDKO
“KDKO” evokes memories of Denver’s soul and R&B station but it did not start out that way. Denver’s KDKO started off back in the summer of 1956 based Littleton, Colorado and employing the call letters “KMOR”.
The station’s early format was easy listening. Ownership was picked up by Bob Rubin in 1960 and the station was first located in South Denver’s Woodlawn Shopping Center. That location would be devastated by the 1965 flood rising out of the South Platte River. I was working in Huntsville, Utah that summer between freshman and sophomore years in college and had to watch coverage via a small television set supplemented by calls from my family.
The station moved locations and then in 1964 became “KDKO” with the name change being accompanies by a switch in format to Country and Western music. The country era short lived running from 1964 until the Spring of 1967 when the station went to an R&B format.
KDKO Goes Soul
After the switch to R&B, KDKO enjoyed a long successful run serving Denver, and while the format was geared to a black listening audience, white owner Dave Segal was the driving force behind the decision to go R&B and along the way employed both black and white DJ’s.
The KDKO web site relates that prior to being a pioneer innovator with the R&B format, had much earlier broken the mold when he established Denver’s first Top 40 “rocker” format station – KOSI in the early 1950’s. KOSI would later would go to easy listening and talk.
We also learn on the KDKO site that the call letters stood for “Denver’s Knock-Out”. I knew one of the DJ’s on KDKO – Bob Moore who was a coach for my son’s little league football team in the 1980’s. Moore is shown below with the very popular “Dr, Daddy-O and Charles Love. Also illustrated below is a very early KDKO survey sheet with one of their first jockey line-ups (November, 1967).